The slow reading movement

Jadavpur university bookstore
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like the idea of the slow food movement. I’ve always loved to eat. But for a long time, I revelled in my inability to cook. I think I had a twisted notion that it enhanced my uniqueness somehow, along with the fact I played electric and listened to grunge (a girl who can’t cook! And in a post-feminist world, that’s okay!).

Then I decided I loved food too much to hold back. I’ve a long way to go to catch T, who’s been watching Food TV forever and has that instinct about pairing flavours and textures and ingredients. But I’m gettin’ there.

And deliberate, conscious choices in food consumption, I think, should be celebrated and applauded. I’m still very much price-conscious, but quality is incredibly important to me, and really, who doesn’t love to spend a lazy Saturday morning at the farmer’s market?

But I digress. What I wanted to talk about was this: a slow-books manifesto.

Read books. As often as you can. Mostly classics.

(What does that sound like? Michael Pollan, you say? You’d be right. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”)

That’s a big call, I say. I reckon my literary split is about 50/50. Of course, the classics take me alot longer to plough through, so it feels more like 90/10.

Classics are hard work. I do enjoy them, most of the time. They’re demanding, yes, but often proportionately more rewarding.

But I need to break them up with lighter material that’s less taxing. There’s also the fact that the heavier material is usually more, erm, depressing. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reading fluffier stuff at all. I didn’t personally feel any need to branch out from YA and blockbusters until a couple of years ago. Whatever your taste is, I just think it’s awesome that you are an adult reader, because too many people give up books after school.

Reading should be celebrated and encouraged (though I think the memoirs of reality stars are about as bookish as those foul fruit rollups are foodish).

How would you describe your literary tastes?

11 thoughts on “The slow reading movement

  1. I love reading! I love love YA books… anything by Emily Giffin, Jane Green, etc. I can read those types of books in a day or so, and I get sooo engrossed in them. My BF on the other hand, doesn’t get why I’m reading about fluffy stuff. Luckily I do read a lot of PF blogs and I learn a lot more from those than what I read when I read YA books. Reading YA books is just so relaxing, and sometimes you just need to give your brain a break! It’s also better than watching TV. I’m also into thrillers and mysteries. I tried reading Lauren Conrad’s LA Candy series and it was not that bad..but I didn’t read past the first book.

    I agree that the classical books are harder to read. Da Vinci Code? Yeah I didn’t finish it. Others like Catcher in the Rye are interesting though.

  2. I like William T. Vollmann, John Irving, Jay McInerney, I guess that makes me a dark person. But I haven’t been reading much fiction since I started blogging, but that is probably a reflection of my current, sunny disposition.

  3. I think I’m out of non-depressing classics. All the good stuff got read back when I was a teen! Now I would be stuck with all the Russian novels I didn’t have to read in high school English. *shudder*

    Big fan of Anne Bronte though. Way ahead of her time. :)

  4. For a long time I would have a list of classics that I wanted to read, but I definitely found whenever I finished a classic I needed to read something light before reading the next one. I’m ashamed to say I did read Snooki’s book “A Shore Thing” but guess what? It wasn’t that bad. And it was like $5 to buy and I needed to beach book to read on vacation.

  5. I love to read, and I’ve been trying to make more time for it lately :) I’ve been reading a lot of classics, because they’re in the public domain, and I prefer free! I do have to switch to something lighter in between, though.

  6. My taste vary pretty wildly, though they tend to focus on contemporary fiction. I used to kind of hide the fact that I enjoyed certain guilty pleasure books, but I don’t really care anymore. I figure, we’re all so busy in our day-to-day lives, if we can make time to read ANYTHING, then we’re doing OK. Right now I’m kind of half trying to (or planning to) reread all the books I read in high school, because I’ll be starting teacher’s college in the fall, and if I’m going to teach high schoolers about Lord of the Flies, I should probably have read it in this decade.

  7. mmmm, delicious books. I totally agree on the perceived ratio for classics versus fluffy stuff; plus about the depressing. I seem to have read a lot lately regarding issues affecting women world-wide and good golly is that depressing!! I’ve started tracking my reading with goodreads.com and quite like it.

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